What is it?

Plantar heel pain is one of the most common injuries to experience in the foot. Given that your heel bone is the largest bone in your foot and is exposed to the majority of your bodyweight every single day, unfortunately most people will find that it will fail them at some point and cause severe pain.

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that originates from the base of your heel and runs through your foot to your toes. This fascia is the main supportive structure through your arch and is constantly active whilst you are walking and standing.

Why did I get it?

Plantar heel pain can be caused by many different factors. Those with heel pain can often relate to the following risk factors or symptoms:

  • Pain in the morning when getting out of bed
  • Poor or inappropriate footwear
  • Flat or high arched feet
  • Increase in weight
  • Sudden change to activity levels
  • Prolonged standing with work, especially on hard surfaces

How is it diagnosed?

A thorough clinical examination by a Podiatrist will most commonly diagnose the condition. Occasionally an x-ray or ultrasound scan will be required as confirmation.

Treatment options

  • Strapping
  • Massage & foot mobilisation
  • Calf and fascia stretching
  • Orthotics (custom insoles)
  • Changing footwear
  • Rolling foot on a frozen water bottle
  • Night splints
  • Cortisone injection (in severe cases)

Prognosis

Although Plantar Fasciitis can be extremely painful, approximately 95% of cases will respond successfully to conservative treatment. The timeframe will vary depending on how severe your pain is and how long you have had it for, however it may take up to 6 months. Your pain is much more likely to resolve if you seek treatment from your Podiatrist sooner rather than later.